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Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Midnight's Children (1981)

by Salman Rushdie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,995198354 (4.06)1 / 873
  1. 100
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Nickelini)
  2. 71
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (GoST)
  3. 61
    The Tin Drum by Günter Grass (GabrielF, CGlanovsky)
    GabrielF: I think Rushdie based a lot of his style in Midnight's Children on The Tin Drum. Both books are historical epics told through the perspective of a child with strange powers.
    CGlanovsky: A boy bound to the destiny of his birthplace. Surreal elements.
  4. 20
    Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh (pamelad)
    pamelad: Also set during Partition.
  5. 31
    The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (BGP)
  6. 10
    Kim by Rudyard Kipling (Gregorio_Roth)
    Gregorio_Roth: The book is a modern interpretation of KIM in a number of ways. I think it will complete your point of view on Imperialism and India.
  7. 11
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (BGP)
  8. 11
    The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie (wrmjr66)
    wrmjr66: I think The Moor's Last Sigh is Rushdie's best book since Midnight's Children.
  9. 01
    Island of a Thousand Mirrors: A Novel by Nayomi Munaweera (evilmoose)
  10. 03
    The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (amyblue)
1980s (11)
Asia (39)
1960s (93)

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English (186)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (198)
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
This was a Booker-prize award winning novel. I had always known that Salman Rushdie was a sensational writer. But I had not really read any of his novel until recently.To be honest, the title of the novel sounded good and very appealing when I actually grabbed this novel from the library. I counted, this was my fourth Indian novel .But the true enthusiasm which was there before reading the novel was totally spoiled after reading some pages.Usually I don't have the habit of counting the number of pages .But what can I do?This is a cunning novel which made to see the total number of pages(647) as I was afraid I will never finish it.

I was not even halfway through when I already gave up reading this novel.This was a kind of novel which would tempt you, annoy you, irritate you in a different kind of way and finally you almost end up not reading even though you are a serious book addict (if you loved this book, I didn't).This doesn't mean the novel wasn't that good- it was because Salman Rusdie's way of writing was very different, I had to read it twice to understand the characters and the underlying story. I think if I were a literature student I would have liked it.But anyway this was a unique novel because in this novel it was hard for me to find the story which was actually a real suspense .

As I didn't have the patience nor the spirit to read this novel, i read the story in Wikipedia because I would feel guilty not reading it. I've read many books out of which most of them are novels but this is the only novel that I returned back to the library without ever finishing it.

I may not have read the full book, but I liked the following quote so much I couldn't get it off my mind.

"How life does turn out.For so many years even my ankles were a secret, & now i must be stared by strange persons who're not even my family members." ( )
  infantinanivetha | Jul 30, 2018 |
I needed brilliance in my otherwise mundane reading life, so I redid Midnight’s Children after 30-years. The weave of holy sheets and men, big body parts, mythic history, families overthrown, rewritten epics, and occasional western references (my Lone Ranger, Silver, and Francis the Talking Mule) are a mishmash wonder. His plots do not build--they lurch and often scrub the page clean of characters, cities, even houses but these all fight back and often return. A God-awful joy.

BTW, My long happy marriage to Rlady (originally from India and Pakistan and professor of India Studies) prepared me (a technoweenie) to read Rushdie (and to read, in general). ( )
1 vote kerns222 | May 25, 2018 |
Salman Rushdie is always a challenge to read but rewarding in the end. I found I had to put this book down often and pick out the story, the history, the heart from all the words this man uses in his writing. Filled with native phrases and slang one hears the narrator's voice accent fully formed in their mind as they read this novel; at times one could even smell the setting, it was so richly drawn.This is a story about the birth of modern India and Pakistan, about myth, prophesy and one man's attempt to give his life meaning through his mystical connection to events in his world. Sad, funny, disturbing, hopeful and fatalist, Saleem's story is the story of all our lives, told with the colour and vibrancy of India in all it's glory. ( )
1 vote LindaWeeks | May 14, 2018 |
I read this book when it had just been nominated for the Booker and Mr. Rushdie was relatively unknown in the U.S. What a wonderful prolixity of language and ideas! I still love it best of all his books. I was to read Lawrence Sterne a year later and recognized the spiritual twinship. ( )
  elizaforest | Feb 12, 2018 |
A beautiful and sprawling book about Saleem, born at midnight on the eve of India's independence, and his psychic connection to others born at that moment. Will provoke thinking about nationalism, religion, identity, and the nature of truth and memory.
1 vote open-leadership | Jan 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
Midnight's Children is a teeming fable of postcolonial India, told in magical-realist fashion by a telepathic hero born at the stroke of midnight on the day the country became independent. First published in 1981, it was met with little immediate excitement.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, Lindesay Irvine (Jul 10, 2008)
"The literary map of India is about to be redrawn. . . . What [English-language fiction about India] has been missing is . . . something just a little coarse, a hunger to swallow India whole and spit it out. . . . Now, in 'Midnight's Children,' Salman Rushdie has realized that ambition."
added by GYKM | editNew York Times, Clarke Blaise (Apr 19, 1981)

» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Salman Rushdieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Capriolo, EttoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howard, IanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Versluys, MarijkeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Zafar Rushdie
who, contrary to all expectations,
was born in the afternoon.
First words
I was born in the city of Bombay . . . once upon a time.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish among:

-- Salman Rushdie's original 1981 novel, Midnight's Children;

-- Rushdie's 1999 screenplay adaptation (with introduction) of the novel, having the same title; and

-- The 2003 stage play, Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, adapted for theater by Rushdie, Tim Supple and Simon Reade.

Thank you.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812976533, Paperback)

Anyone who has spent time in the developing world will know that one of Bombay's claims to fame is the enormous film industry that churns out hundreds of musical fantasies each year. The other, of course, is native son Salman Rushdie--less prolific, perhaps than Bollywood, but in his own way just as fantastical. Though Rushdie's novels lack the requisite six musical numbers that punctuate every Bombay talkie, they often share basic plot points with their cinematic counterparts. Take, for example, his 1980 Booker Prize-winning Midnight's Children: two children born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947--the moment at which India became an independent nation--are switched in the hospital. The infant scion of a wealthy Muslim family is sent to be raised in a Hindu tenement, while the legitimate heir to such squalor ends up establishing squatters' rights to his unlucky hospital mate's luxurious bassinet. Switched babies are standard fare for a Hindi film, and one can't help but feel that Rushdie's world-view--and certainly his sense of the fantastical--has been shaped by the films of his childhood. But whereas the movies, while entertaining, are markedly mediocre, Midnight's Children is a masterpiece, brilliant written, wildly unpredictable, hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure.

Rushdie's narrator, Saleem Sinai, is the Hindu child raised by wealthy Muslims. Near the beginning of the novel, he informs us that he is falling apart--literally:

I mean quite simply that I have begun to crack all over like an old jug--that my poor body, singular, unlovely, buffeted by too much history, subjected to drainage above and drainage below, mutilated by doors, brained by spittoons, has started coming apart at the seams. In short, I am literally disintegrating, slowly for the moment, although there are signs of an acceleration.
In light of this unfortunate physical degeneration, Saleem has decided to write his life story, and, incidentally, that of India's, before he crumbles into "(approximately) six hundred and thirty million particles of anonymous, and necessarily oblivious, dust." It seems that within one hour of midnight on India's independence day, 1,001 children were born. All of those children were endowed with special powers: some can travel through time, for example; one can change gender. Saleem's gift is telepathy, and it is via this power that he discovers the truth of his birth: that he is, in fact, the product of the illicit coupling of an Indian mother and an English father, and has usurped another's place. His gift also reveals the identities of all the other children and the fact that it is in his power to gather them for a "midnight parliament" to save the nation. To do so, however, would lay him open to that other child, christened Shiva, who has grown up to be a brutish killer. Saleem's dilemma plays out against the backdrop of the first years of independence: the partition of India and Pakistan, the ascendancy of "The Widow" Indira Gandhi, war, and, eventually, the imposition of martial law.

We've seen this mix of magical thinking and political reality before in the works of Günter Grass and Gabriel García Márquez. What sets Rushdie apart is his mad prose pyrotechnics, the exuberant acrobatics of rhyme and alliteration, pun, wordplay, proper and "Babu" English chasing each other across the page in a dizzying, exhilarating cataract of words. Rushdie can be laugh-out-loud funny, but make no mistake--this is an angry book, and its author's outrage lends his language wings. Midnight's Children is Salman Rushdie's irate, affectionate love song to his native land--not so different from a Bombay talkie, after all. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:44 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The life of a man born at the moment of India's independence becomes inextricably linked to that of his nation and is a whirlwind of disasters and triumphs that mirror modern India's course, in a twenty-fifth anniversary edition of the Booker Prize-winning novel.… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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